Thursday, October 9, 2008

New 35W bridge cleans the air

The replacement bridge along I-35W in Minneapolis opened ahead of schedule last month. That's good news. Even better news is the engineers took the replacement opportunity to install aesthetic devices built of concrete that neutralize air pollution. The special concrete works like a catalytic converter and is self-cleaning. Such an innovation bolsters the argument for major infrastructure investment by improving the overall health of the surrounding area. Highways are line source pollutants, meaning that the communities surrounding heavily trafficked roadways suffer from high levels of pollution and particulate matter resulting in increased rates of cancer, asthma and respiratory problems. When we rebuild our infrastructure for safety we should also consider the health and safety of people near the roads, not just on the roads.

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